Google Prepares Its Display Game; TNS Sees Q1 Display Spending Up; Better Contextual Sponsorships Required Says Diller

BusinessWeek Google Grab for the Display Ad MarketRob Hof of BusinessWeek brings the lens of mainstream media to display ad exchanges in his article, “Google’s Grab for the Display Ad Market.” As the title partially suggests, Google’s display ad business and industry perceptions about upcoming updates to its exchange strategies are the focus.

In the article, industry pundits have a decidedly negative view on whether or not Google can pull off a significant move in display. The view from here is that they need to launch/update their product, but that it’s within their grasp. Lack of speed will kill, though.

Hof’s crisp prose results in an easy-to-understand narrative on display challenges faced by Big G. The article omits any mention of the opportunity ahead with real-time bidding (RTB) and demand-side optimization – which could be the proverbial “game changer” for Google. RTB remains a story yet to be told as companies are just beginning to offer this feature and empirical evidence of performance improvements are few and far between.

The article ends with Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder and president of technology saying, “Display is going to be a large business for us. It’s not just an experiment.” The industry appears to be saying, “Prove it.”

In other news…

ClickZ’s Douglas Quenqua reports on TNS findings about Q1 spending in display – it’s up!

Christopher Hosford of BtoB Magazine reports from the NYC Advertising 2.0 conference this week where Barry Diller said among other prognostication that “contextual sponsorships specific for the audience” will be necessary to overcome what he believes is blindness to standard IAB banner sizes.

Brand Republic notes the use of eye tracking software which determined display ad placements in Microsoft’s new search engine, Bing performed better than Google. “Nearly half of Bing users read through the display ads on the right hand side of the search results, compared to a quarter of Google users.” As long as it isn’t due to poor search engine results in Bing, the research may show a step in the right direction for the Redmond monolith.

Finally, Joe Mandese writes that Nielsen Online is having trouble counting in MediaPost.

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1 Comment

  1. Google certainly has the resources to make an impact in the display market, but they’ve been talking about their commitment for years and their product hasn’t really caught on. A couple of points on that:

    – Google’s free Ad Builder sounds like a nice touch, but AdReady already offers a better tool, and BidPlace SB (full disclosure: I work on this product) will be offering a much more comprehensive, easy-to-use Banner Builder product next month.
    – Google Display will charge over the client’s daily budget cap when extra impressions are available. BidPlace SB and other products cap the client’s spend at the dollar amount that the client has indicated. No billing surprises – what a concept!
    – Google reaches a smaller portion of the Internet population than BidPlace SB, which is powered by the industry-leading network.

    In short, there are a number of significant areas where Google’s display product has historically fallen short relative to Bidplace SB and other competitors. Based on the info in this article, it appears that gap remains, and perhaps helps to explain the distance between Google’s ambitions in this space and their current market share.